The rot lies deeper

No wisdom to punish teachers only



On a cold winter afternoon of 17th of December 2012, the matriculation result was declared leading to a sense of excitement and exhilaration all around the valley. Over the next few days, the old anecdote of how the private institutions had swept away with the positive results came to life once again. I spent the next couple of days surfing through various newspapers and websites trying to carve out as to why the private institutional students did justice to their potential and why the government institutions failed to prove their worth. Meanwhile, the air around me was filled with the views that were pitched against the teachers who taught in government schools and some of them even lavished praise on the much hyped private school teachers. Amid all this gossip, came the news of suspending teachers of the Government schools for the low percentage of results. I also believed that injustice is meted out to the poor students who study in Government schools. But a visit to a government school just adjacent to my house payed rich dividends as it proved fruitful in my quest to know about the divergence between the private and the government schools. As I entered the school compound, stray dogs who had been camping inside the compound for a couple of days barked at me and tried to scare me away from a territory they thought was their own. I opened the door to one of the classrooms where I found the situation miserable and totally embarrassing to teach and learn. The blackboards were partly broken and the teacher's chair was wrecked in its sitting place. The room stared at me through its dirty walls and the dull blue walls looked like they had been painted years ago. The window panes were broken and the rusted wooden windows looked like they had been hollowed by the termites and other insects. There wasn’t a single evidence which signified that some heating arrangement had been in place some time back and the heaps of dust scattered around signified the turbulent atmosphere in which the students had to study. A couple of days later, I made my way into a prestigious private institution. The situation was completely opposite in the institution I visited. There was no evidence of stray dogs, the compound was covered with lush green lawns, the classrooms were beautifully painted, and there was a stationery store in the campus, a hygienic canteen and conducive atmosphere to study.
In a moment I discerned the difference between the government and the private schools and then I finally asked myself this question: should we really blame the teachers for the debacle? The visit to these two schools really gave me the answer to this question. If the teachers are said to be responsible for the debacle we have suffered, then the responsible persons running the show of Government educational system are equally responsible for the catastrophe we have been buried under.
The central government had tried their best to elevate the system of education in J&K state by introducing schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was introduced before a decade and a lot of funds were allocated by the central government for the implementation of the scheme in the state of J&K. The scheme was meant to universalize the primary education system and provide new schools with all possible facilities but as one tries to see the windfall of the scheme, a feel of failure is sensed everywhere. At that time it was expected that the new system of school education will be improved to the extremity and there will be a sea change in the government educational sector in the state, but to the dismay the funds got misused and misplaced and consequently, the system of schools got deteriorated rather than improved. The second scheme RMSA has been introduced recently to universalize and to improve the quality of school education at the secondary level. The scheme intends to improve the school system by providing the infrastructure such as new class rooms, library, science laboratory, computer room, disabled friendly provisions, and recruitment of additional teachers with emphasis on Science, Math and English subjects and training of in service teachers.  But a State where education and people concerned with education are treated in a shabby manner, the Schemes like RMSA may meet the same end as that of Sarva Shisha  Abhiyan.
   The planners, administrators and the so called intellectuals of School Education need to introspect into their own responsibilities before blaming Government teachers for the debacle in the result of Matriculation in the Government schools. It is no bravery to punish the teachers only for the low pass percentage, all must get punished.

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Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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